Are we really Early Birds when it comes to Engagement?
“Early Contractor Engagement remains a hot topic. It’s nothing new, but as an industry, do we engage early enough in the process of understanding our customers’ needs and act upon them? The key here is collaboration.
With any project, from the start, all parties involved need to have a deep understanding and set out on an equal footing. Are we really braver than we were ten years ago about ensuring a collective approach to meet the outcomes for our customers?
I think this starts with honest, upfront conversation and then staying true to this belief during the project, even if things become tense. The benefits for customers and contractors who engage early are that they have not only the buildability aspect but, in these changing market conditions, their insight allows design processes and costs to be aligned to market positions and capabilities.
In the past, contractors have been involved too late in the process ; these considerations then turn into a value-engineering exercise, delaying project procurement and, in a rapidly rising market, heaping greater financial and time pressures upon the project.
Contractors are increasingly choosing to work with a limited number of customers to lead a radical rethink of the design and construction process. This starts with the customer’s brief. Contractors need to fully understand the desired outcomes in terms of building design, function and cost. Have we seen more early engagement of contractors and other stakeholders during the design process, with huge benefits to the end-outcome?
Not only at Osborne is early engagement is vital, it’s across the industry. We all want to meet the customer’s needs in an affordable way, and avoid unnecessary redesign costs by ensuring we are meeting all end-outputs as the design develops. We ensure all stakeholders are on board with the design as early as possible. It is important we bind together from the word go and find ways of accommodating competing priorities.”
Mike Todd is Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.